The Dodgers continued to slowly choke the life out of the Giants Saturday night, winning 9-1 in San Francisco. The win widened the Dodgers' division lead to three games over the Rockies, who actually lost a game tonight, in San Diego. In the "just in case" division, the Dodgers hold an 8½-game lead in the wild card over both San Francisco and Florida.
Vicente Padilla improved to 3-0 as a Dodger, allowing only an unearned run in six innings. The run scored as a result of Padilla's throwing error on a sacrifice bunt in the third inning. Maybe instead of shagging flies during batting practice, Dodger pitchers can work on throws to first base. Actually, I have no reason to quibble with Padilla's performance, as he allowed six baserunners while striking out five batters.
The offense was led tonight by home runs from a pair of somewhat unlikely candidates. Russell Martin gave the Dodgers the lead with a three-run shot in the fourth inning, his fifth of the season. James Loney added a potential history-making home run with his 12th home run in the ninth inning. Loney qualifies only as somewhat unlikely, because his road performance has been so good. On the road, Loney is hitting .312/.386/.494, with all 12 of his home runs, which is for now the Dodger record for most home runs hit in a season, all on the road.
The Dodgers tacked on single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, to put this game away, although it could be argued the game was already over once the Dodgers got their fourth run. The Giants offense has struggled all season, but lately it has been even worse, scoring three runs or less in eight of their last nine games.
The Dodger offense seems to be coming alive at the right time, and has scored 44 runs in their last seven games.
I was away from a computer most of the night, so I was late catching up to the game thread, but props to Max D Sterling for a nice use of the word "daffy." Well done, sir.
Chad Billingsley takes the hill tomorrow, as the Dodgers try to sweep the Giants, who will counter with Brad Penny. I would give anything to hear a microphone on Larry Bowa all game, or at least the four innings Penny will pitch.
WP - Vicente Padilla (3-0): 6 IP, 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Jonathan Sanchez (6-12): 4.1 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 3 walks, 4 strikeouts